The Research Process
Research methods used:
Interviews with bourbon drinkers
When we began working on Old Crow, nobody on the team was familiar with it. When the average person thinks of bourbon, they think Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam. Nobody knows the story of the Crow.
To familiarize myself with Old Crow, I took a trip to the local liquor store and browsed the bourbon aisle. Old Crow was hidden on the bottom shelf, surrounded by other obscure brands. There was really nothing that differentiated Old Crow from the other bottles. As any good strategist does, I took a bottle home for research purposes.
Through conversations with budget liquor drinkers, most base their decision off of price and label design. It seemed like picking a bourbon from the bottom shelf is more of a gamble than an informed purchase. If we want people to choose Old Crow, we have to give them a reason to trust the brand.
As I began to dig deeper into the secondary research, it became clear that Old Crow wasn't like the other bottom shelf bourbons. It actually paved the way for modern bourbon. The founder, James Crow, invented the sour mash process. It allowed him to distill bourbon that was consistent in flavor and strength, a revolutionary development at the time.
Liquor trends are moving in the direction of "craft" and "artisanal", but that's not what Old Crow stands for. We saw an opportunity to help Old Crow find their brand voice by leaning into the history & heritage of the brand. By doing that, it gives consumers a reason to believe. The newer brands might be fancy and shiny, but when it comes to bourbon, older is better.